The Marriage of Figaro (4 stars)

DC Jackson breathes new life into Beaumarchais’ 18th-century original

The Marriage of Figaro

Photo: Alan McCredie

With this energetic adaptation of Beaumarchais’ 18th-century original, DC Jackson has breathed fresh life into a classic. It’s a good-humoured, good-time show, with just enough emotional power up its sleeve (plus a few other surprises) to make you feel more than just belly laughs.

The action is relocated from the bloated but soon-to-be-toppled French aristocracy to the equally affluent (and possibly equally ill-fated) top floor of an Edinburgh banking firm. Figaro and fiancée Suzanne are about to merge their too-good-to-be-true fair trade finance start-up with former bosses the Chief – a thrustingly despicable old-school banker with a ‘BUPA-certified sex addiction’ – and the Chair – his long-suffering wife. It feels fresh and up to date, but there’s no time to let the rapacious actions of the boardroom get you down, as this was always more a sex comedy than a satire at heart.

The humour is fast and fun, the cast wrapping their tongues around wordy one-liners and making some complicated physical farce look easy. With jokes at the expense of Dundee and accountants, not to mention some cross-dressing and an unexpected penguin, it’s even a little pantoesque, but done with enough intelligent wit to stay classy.

Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh, until Sat 14 Apr.

The Marriage of Figaro - Trailer

The Marriage of Figaro

The first Lyceum commission from DC Jackson (My Romantic History, The Chooky Brae) is an adaptation of the classic comic opera into a theatrical setting and the world of contemporary finance.

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